Slowly but Surely
I nervously moved towards the classroom. Once again, I was the new girl, but this time, I was the new girl who had barely moved to the US. I was the new girl who spoke with a funny accent, and the one who tried to avoid eye contact at all costs. I was the awkward, insecure, lonely new girl.
Lonely. Lost. In need of Love.
What hurt the most wasn’t the fact that I was unable to establish a real connection with anyone for over a year, but it was how much I missed feeling loved. See, your family is one thing. You know that they love you (hopefully) and you are so grateful for that, but it is almost as if it’s their job to love you. It feels like they were born to love you. They don’t love you because you’re funny or talented or smart. They simply love you because you’re you. Friends on the other hand, you have to earn their love. They’re not supposed to love you, so when they do it’s special. I missed feeling that someone who wasn’t “genetically” programmed to love me, to do so anyways.
Somewhere along the way, I lost sight of who I am, and even I forgot how to love myself. I was convinced that I was unworthy of love. I was always the odd one out. I spent lunchtime in the restrooms so that no one would know how lonely I am. I always tried to look busy. During class, when frustration, sadness, loneliness, discomfort, and a million other negative feelings began to build up in me, right when I absolutely couldn’t take it anymore, I would ask to use the restroom just so that I could ball my eyes out. You know there’s something wrong when your diary is the only “person” you talk to.
Wake up call.
One day, I had an appointment with my new physician. I don’t quite remember the details, but when my mom left the room for a few seconds, I asked her if I could possibly be referred to a therapist without my mom finding out. She asked me what was wrong and I reluctantly began talking about the painful struggle that was my every day life. At first, I could barely get the words out of my mouth, but once they started rolling I couldn’t stop myself. It was impossible to understand what I was saying because I was sobbing so hard. I was sobbing like I have never sobbed before.
I never went to a therapist. I didn’t want my mom to have any more things to worry about; her plate was already full, but that day, when I got home and when I felt the emptiness inside me that was consuming my whole life, I decided, with no medical credentials whatsoever, that it was official. I was depressed.
I don’t know how it all happened, but finally after an uncountable number of mental breakdowns, an oceans of shed tears, a couple of self-help books, and perhaps even a miracle – if you believe in that sorta thing – I began to gradually leave that stage of my life behind. I began to come out of my shell. The more I came out, the more I realized how much I have missed living, the more my hunger for life would grow. I had decided that life was hard, but going through it rather than truly living it made it even harder. I was determined to change. I was determined to feel happy. I was determined to live.
Things were starting to change for the better. My brother finally found a job and for the first time in years, we had a source of income, but what that meant for me was moving again. More than anything else in the world, I wanted to let go of all the bitter, terrible events of the past. I wanted to forget about the unbearable yesterdays. I wanted to start fresh, and this time I wanted to truly feel like a teenager. I wanted to be stupid and care about small things like a typical teenager. I wanted to flirt with boys and worry about make up like a regular teenager. I wanted to feel young and Carefree.
Slowly, things began to change. Slowly, I started laughing more often. You cannot believe how strange it felt to laugh. At times, it felt like I have never done it before. It was so unnatural!
Slowly, I built up my confidence. Slowly, I found people to talk to besides my diary. Slowly, I felt less lost and more in place.
Don’t get me wrong, even to this day I still spend some lunchtimes all by myself because I feel unwanted. Even to this day, I struggle to feel confident and to love myself, but I’ll be ungrateful, nay, blind to say that things aren’t getting better. Life is getting brighter and happier. It is all happening. Slowly, but it sure is all happening.